Pesto Noodles is not normally competitive with Beans & Rice or Thai Peanut Noodles for a group’s favorite dinner recipe, but it is a reliable third or fourth option in my backpacking cook book. And it’s certainly not to be overlooked: I’ve probably eaten more Pesto Noodles this summer than any other meal, because it’s still that good.
- Recommended meal weight: 5.7 oz
- Total calories: 754
- Caloric density: 133 calories/ounce
To increase the caloric density, which is already very high, add more olive oil or Noodles (which are fried).
For extra goodness, drop in some chunks of salami, beef jerky, or similar.
Discard the MSG-loaded seasoning packet in the bag of noodles, either at home or in the field.
For single-servings, all ingredients should be bagged together, except for the Parmesan — keep that separate. I store the olive oil in a 16-oz Platypus Soft Bottle, inside of a gallon-sized plastic bag for extra protection.
In a group setting, each group member receives their own ration of noodles, and all of the other ingredients (Parmesan, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices) are packaged separately. Divide them in the field. Store the olive oil in 16- or 32-oz Platypus bottles, or hard-sided Nalgene bottles if weight is less of a concern; either way, keep the bottle in a gallon-sized plastic bag.
I prefer soupy meals. But for perfect at-home consistency:
- Bring 10 oz of water to a boil, or a near-boil
- Add all ingredients, save for the Parmesan; the seasoning packet should be discarded. Stir and let reconstitute. No simmer is needed, but a longer soak will help soften up leathery sun-dried tomatoes.
- Once the ingredients have cooked and the pot has been removed from the stove, add the Parmesan. Unless you want a gooey cheese mess in your pot, do not jump the gun on the Parmesan.
- Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.